I'm not certain that I will be able to detail the process of adoption very well. It's all a blur already -mostly b/c it was a complete blur along the way. :) So, here's what I can tell you -
We applied to our agency, got accepted. We were then sent a packet full of information and paperwork to begin filling out. The paperwork side of it was called the "Dossier". I'll refer to this again (probably several times). We had to apply with immigration, get a backround check, and fingerprints done. These 3 things were all time sensitive. So once we did those - there was no turning back.
We did a lot of that Dossier paperwork within the first few weeks of receiving it. It was made up of several financial statements, doctor letters and physicals, insurance papers (health and life), reference letters from friends, work information, personal "safety" questionare, birth and marriage certificates (new ones, not original), blah blah blah. Sounds like a blast, huh? Everything then had to be notarized. Thankfully, one of the secretaries at the church was a notary, so we were able to do that fairly easy. Mostly, it was a lot to fill out, a lot of duplicating, copying, then saving for later. We also had to have a home study done. We had to have a local agency do this to be sure we followed CO law. Nothing like having a complete stranger come into your home, ask you very private and specific questions. :) We had to meet w/ them several times, as well as take a parenting class. We jokingly wondered if it would still count if we taught a parenting class. :) We know there is always more to learn though. It did prove to be helpful though, as they outlined a lot of adoption issues that we have obviously never had to face w/ 3 biological children.
I think I'll be done w/ the boring details. As most of the rest of that period involved mailing, re mailing, certifying w/ the government, yada yada yada. Also, a lot of a "hurry up and wait".
The most exciting part to date with the adoption was completing our Dossier and sending it to Virginia for them to put the final touches on. We did this the second week of December as that was the deadline to get it on it's way to Ethiopia before the end of the year. All but one paper was done correct, and even it was an easy fix. So sure enough, it made it on it's way to Ethiopia by the end of the second week of December. They told us to expect 3-4 weeks for it to get there and signed for by the agency there. They gave us a tracking number, which we didn't check until Jan 1 for the sake of sanity. Turns out, it made record time getting there and was picked up on Dec. 25th. Merry Christmas!
Now the real wait begins. There isn't much we can do (other than fundraising). We just wait for Malachi. I love it - waiting is my specialty. (Those who know me are cracking up right now.) This detail of it made it sound easier than it was. It took almost a year for all of the above listed to be done. It never seemed too terribly hard for us though. We sensed that a lot of people have a hard time with the "process" of adoption. For us (two left-brained musicians), it was just more annoying than anything else. :) However, we'd take the "paper-pregnancy" (this is often what it's referred to) over one of my difficult pregnancies. :)
Ah, the process..... it's over!!!